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Five Vegetarian Alternatives to Fish this Lent

If you've eaten so much fish that you're developing gills, check out these recommendations for restaurants that know how to make great meatless meals.

It’s the time of year when even Taco Bell advertises Lent specials made of beans, rice and that bright yellow substance allegedly made from cheese. You can suffer your way through 40 days of vegetarian food made by people who don’t specialize in it, or you can treat Lent as an opportunity to visit some great area restaurants that specialize in meatless dishes year-round.

First Watch
Most people know them for breakfast. Mmm, crepeggs. But they have a great selection of brunch and lunch items aimed at full-time vegetarians. Try the filling Joaquin Yahoo Fritata, Not Guilty Your Honor sandwich or Greek Fetish omelet. Or, you could just give in to sugary carbtastic temptation and have the pancakes, crepes or french toast.

Fozzie’s Sandwich Imporium
If you’re craving comfort foods, Fozzie’s veggie dog is a good place to start. In second place comes the grown-up Big Cheese, and in third is the ever awesome Eggplant Parm sandwich (a whole dinner plate of goodness stuffed in a bun). Before you go, pick up some pita bread and any of its five house-made spreads for tomorrow’s lunch. Then again, when people try to decide between the Htipiti with roasted peppers and feta versus the skordalia with garlic and potatoes, they always end up ordering both.

Mai Lee
If you’re looking for a place that knows how to cook great meatless dishes year-round, check out Mai Lee’s 20 different vegetarian entrees. They include black bean sauce stir fries, rich coconut milk broths and curries. You can also order its excellent pad thai either without meat or with tofu, or try the fried rice, lo mein or egg fu young without the meat. If you haven’t eaten so much fish you’re worried about developing gills, you can also try out its extensive selection of nearly 30 seafood entrees, not one of which could be confused with a classic Friday fish fry.

Mazara Italian
All of its  salads start meat-free with an option to add chicken, salmon, steak or shrimp. This means they know how to make a filling and flavorful bed of greens. The Margherita (cheese and tomato) and Mazara (grilled veggies and fresh greens) pizzas are vegetarian, and the Formaggio Panini (packed with asparagus and other veggies) makes such a hearty meal that you won’t even miss the meat.

Wasabi Sushi
Since sushi is made from fish, Lent is a perfect time to try a lot of different rolls. But Wasabi Sushi offers a good number of vegetarian options for people who aren’t comfortable with raw fish but still want to experiment with something new. Try the Crunch Roll (tempura batter, cucumber, wasabi mayo), Vegetable Roll (cucumber, avocado, radish, asparagus) or Futomaki (avocado, egg, radish, cucumber, kanpyo). Or, if you’re not in the mood for rice, go for the Vegetable Tempura with some Miso soup and crunchy fried edamame.

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